[texhax] Justification through glyph variants

Arno Trautmann Arno.Trautmann at gmx.de
Fri Dec 2 21:11:01 CET 2011

Philip TAYLOR wrote:
> Joel C. Salomon wrote:
>> In some older Hebrew books, and in Hebrew calligraphy, a technique used
>> to align text to the outer margin is stretching letters. Certain
>> letters are particularly stretchable; in fact, Unicode has several "wide
>> letters" encoded in the Alphabetic Presentation Forms area.
>> For reference, compare:
>> א = ﬡ, ד = ﬢ, ה = ﬣ, כ = ﬤ, ל = ﬥ, ם = ﬦ, ר = ﬧ, ת = ﬨ.
>> At any rate, is there any way to make (any version of) TeX use these to
>> help justify lines?
> I personally know of no way of instructing TeX to consider these when
> optimising the layout of a paragraph, but Hàn Thế Thành's microtypographic
> extensions to PdfTeX offer an alternative. It seems to me that, in
> an ideal world, what one would actually want is a combination of the two
> such that given (for example) "ת" and "ﬨ" as the lower- and upper-
> bound respectively, a variant of Thành's work might usefully interpolate
> between the two. What this might add to the complexity of TeX's already
> complex paragraphing algorithm [2], I do not like to think !

Sounds like a nice task for LuaTeX hackers – should be possible to play 
around with this, at least in the post linebreak filter. One could check 
a line's badness, and if it exceeds a certain number, it could insert 
glyph variants. If I'm bored this weekend, I'll give it a try :)


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